71 year-old CBC grad pursues his musical passion
Hundreds of students are preparing to graduate from Columbia Basin College tonight - and one Pasco man will be collecting his fourth degree.
Pasco's James Noyce isn't your ordinary college graduate.
For starters he's 71 years old, and already has three college degrees, including a Ph.D. in radiochemistry.
And tonight, he'll walk again for a fourth diploma.
This one in music.
"I've always loved music. I've sung in groups much of my life and I wanted to compose music, and figured the best way to do that was to go back to school" said Noyce.
The retired radiochemist, who stopped working in 2006, says music, specifically singing, has always been his passion.
So in 2007, he started taking classes at CBC.
He didn't plan to earn a degree, he just wanted to learn and brush up on some musical skills.
"But as time went on I was completing more and more of the requirements for a degree, so I said 'OK, why not?'" said Noyce.
Noyce says after five years of studying, he's more equipped to write music, and has learned plenty of new skills.
"More music theory, ear training, singing in another choir at CBC" said Noyce.
He's already composed two dozen pieces, and several of them have been used at his church.
Noyce says even though he's technically retired, he has no plans of slowing down.
"I'm actually singing the best now than I ever have really., and so I'm happy" said Noyce.
James Noyce says he plans to continue composing now that he's out of school.
He mainly writes sacred choral music, but says he plans to compose more music for brass and winds.
CBC's graduation starts at 7 PM tonight at the Toyota Center.